Friday, May 23, 2014

Review: Behind the Scandal by M.A. Stacie


Sent to the family ranch to overcome his addiction, Taylor Reese is angry and hurt. Feeling rejected by his father and brother, Taylor throws himself into ranch life to help him forget. But it isn’t long before it hits him hard how much his life has spiraled out of control, leaving him floundering and looking for a lifeline.

Libby Karlin is cautious, wary of Taylor’s presence. Her dark past makes her reluctant to let anyone near her family. But after Taylor strikes up a friendship with her son, Libby finds herself drawn to the sadness within him. His experiences are no secret to her, though she keeps her own buried until a knock on her door has her gasping for breath.

Could dealing with their pasts really give them a future?

4 out of 5 stars

After I finished the first book in this series, Beneath the Surface, I couldn't stand Taylor Reese.  I thought he was spoiled and smarmy and slimy and a train wreck waiting to happen.  So....when I found out that this book was HIS story...well, I was a little worried.

Now keep in mind that I have read a fair share by M.S. Stacie and I know her way with words and she has yet to lead me wrong...but Taylor??? Really???

Behind the Scandal picks up after Taylor has moved to his uncle's farm to get his life straightened out.  Forced by his father to endure an eternity a few months of manual labor, clean air, and detox, Taylor is determined to be miserable.  So much so that his middle name might as well have been hateful.

Enter Libby.

She is everything that Taylor seems to hate -- though to be fair, he is determined to hate everything and everybody.  A feisty strong-willed red head, she doesn't put up with his attitude towards the life she has come to love on the farm.  She handles everything he dishes out and gives it back without backing down. 


Once Taylor realizes that he can't walk all over her and get whatever he wants, things begin to change.  She is a challenge for him and maybe that's what Taylor needs - instead of using drugs as a way to escape, he now has something to work for.

One thing I really appreciated about this book is that there wasn't the insta-love that seems to be everywhere these days.  Sure there was insta-attraction (as much as they both wanted to ignore it), but this wasn't an "I hated you an hour ago but now I can't live my life without you" story.  Libby has scars and a son that she protects with everything she has - especially from a recovering addict.  Because of his childhood, Taylor hardly knows what a normal relationship of any kind is like.  Before they can be in ANY kind of relationship, they have to figure out how to even live on the same farm.

Now, that being said, once the spark catches...

And this is the time where I admit that I was wrong about Taylor and that over the course of the story I begin to understand him and realize that he maybe isn't the horrible man that I was convinced he was in the beginning.  Growth, people.  Growth.

So yeah, make sure you add this one to your to-read list.  It will be published at the end of July -- so you have plenty of time to read the Beneath the Surface while you wait.  You won't regret it.    

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